Dana White’s Contender Series alum Jamal Pogues finally made his promotional debut at UFC Vegas 69 on Saturday, where he was paired up with Josh Parisian.
Pogues had twice appeared on DWCS, winning a fight in 2019 but leaving without a contract in hand, only to return last year. Parisian had a similar story, appearing for the first time on the Contender Series in 2018, followed by an Ultimate Fighter appearance later that year. Two years later, Parisian finally punched his ticket to the UFC in a second Contender Series appearance.
Pogues was emotional making the walk for the first time, but held it together when it mattered.
The heavyweight clash started with a heavy outside leg kick from Parisian. Pogues fired back right away and soon after scored a nice takedown. Parisian did a good job at using the cage to get back to his feet. Parisian answered that takedown with a big front kick to the chin of Pogues. That had Parisian coming forward but Parisian used his momentum to pin him against the cage. Nothing came from the clinch but Pogues got the double underhooks and tripped Parisian down. Pogues ended the round on top.
Parisian was aggressive to start round two. He was stepping forward with pressure before Pogues landed a power double leg. Parisian got right back up but they went right back down. Pogues was not able to hold Parisian down, as Parisian kept getting back to his feet relatively quickly. Parisian was frequently crashing the pocket but wasn’t putting anything together. Aggressive in the late part of the round Parisian was defending the takedowns and landing short strikes.
In the final round, it was more of the sluggish striking exchanges to start the round. The cleanest strike landing from both guys for three rounds had been the jab from Pogues. Pogues did a nice job timing a level change into an explosive takedown. Although Pogues was in mount for a second, Parisian didn’t let his opponent get much top position time. They went back to the stand-up. In the clinch on the feet Parisian missed badly on a spinning back fist. To his credit, Parisian kept going forward but clinching up with Pogues was doing nothing for him. Parisian managed to end the round on a good note putting Pogues to a knee landing short punches.
The scorecards, when read, had all three judges favoring Jamal Pogues.
Unanimous for @MMAs_Finest! He gets the W in his Octagon debut 👏 #UFCVegas69 pic.twitter.com/tGjgjPJn4G
— UFC (@ufc) February 19, 2023
Official Result: Jamal Pogues def. Josh Parisian by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)